Friday, November 30, 2012


Prayer Journal Entry Nov. 2011

Please, please Lord let her love her brother and sister equally.  Please let her immediately accept them and adore them as they already do her.  Please let her not be MEAN to them as she adjusts.

Prayer Journal Entry Nov. 2012

Thank you Lord that it seems like they have always been siblings.  Thank you so much for these sweet bonds that exist between all three of our children. It is amazing to watch.  Thank you Lord that Lizzie loves them equally and enjoys different activities and special times with John Reese and Ellie.

God is so good!  I do not always prayer journal.  As a matter of fact, from the time we got Lizzie home until recently my prayer life has been more of survival/thanks/and please remember so and so. And every time I think of someone I need to pray for, I just do it right then because I know the thought might not come back to me for a while.  I want to go back deeper with God, and this season of bringing Lizzie home has filled me with peace and contentment and a truly thankful heart.  But I just haven't had a lot of words, and those I have had have not made it on paper.
So... I am journaling this to remind myself of His goodness and faithfulness, not mine!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Reflecting on God's Amazing Grace

As I sit here and watch Reese work in the yard and see the changing colors of the leaves and pumpkins on the front porch, I remember so vividly the way I felt at this time last year. I was beyond ready for our Lizzie, and we were not receiving any news that led us to believe that we would have a referral soon.
I so badly wanted to take in the moments with our family of 4 and not wish any moments away, but I was just desperate to get to our girl!
Two years ago this month, I had a conversation with a friend about their family adopting a little girl from China with special needs. (Also thinking in my mind, "Wow that they could do special needs - no way could I and especially not Reese - and our Lizzie does have some medical needs that cause her to be labeled "Special Needs") - God is amazing and so much bigger than we can imagine.
She shared that God placed this on her heart before he did her husband's and she just began to pray for him and within months they were pursuing adoption.
I was standing in my church parking lot and was totally overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions.
From the moment we were told Ellie would be Ellie - Reese just knew our family was complete.  There were days that I was totally overwhelmed with having two children two years apart, but there were soooo many days that I felt like we were not finished and that somehow we would have another child.
I would walk by our guest room (that room is now Ellie's and the "guest room" became Lizzie's) and pray that if God didn't want it to be empty that somehow He would show me His plan and why I had these desires for a third child, when Reese was so sure.
I prayed for a submissive heart and spirit and God was faithful.
It never dawned on me to pray for Reese's heart to be opened to adoption.  He said "no" and I certainly didn't want to manipulate him.  He was (and is) such an active Daddy that I didn't want him to feel stretched.
But that afternoon in the parking lot - it was like God whispered - "It's time to pray."  Within weeks of that day, I knew we would adopt a daughter.  I prayed beside my bed one Saturday morning (after finishing Mary Beth Chapman's book - Choosing Joy) and as I was praying God gave me a vision of our Lizzie.  It was the back of her and she had dark curly hair and was in pajamas and I thought she looked about 3 or 4.  On that day - she was 4.
This vision was crucial to us following His plan because in all the years that I had discussed adoption with friends or with Reese - I would say "If we adopt (Reese shaking his head - no, no, no) then I would want to get the tiniest baby - I want to go somewhere to get a baby."  I LOVE babies!  I love everything about a newborn - the smells, the wrinkles, the toes, the yawns!!! LOVE IT!!!
But, God showed me a little girl that I would mother - and I knew it was from Him.
I was concerned that I was a bit emotional after reading Mary Beth's story - but I just knew it was HIM.
So... when I went to Reese with all of this that was going on in my heart and mind - I said, "And the biggest reason that I know this is God, not me - is that she is not a baby - I think she will be older."
Last November 23, we received the referral pictures of our Lizzie, then 5 almost 6 - and for about a month, everyone around me rejoiced.  Ellie's first words were "Oh Mom, 6 is better, then it's like we can be friends!"  Precious girl.  But I must admit that while I KNEW she was ours, I was completely OVERCOME with FEAR!  Fear about her past and how much of it was spent NOT in our family, fear that she would be old enough to NOT like us, fear about all she could have been exposed to, fear she would not like homeschooling (she was in kindergarten) and really alot of FEAR that I couldn't love her like I needed to because I wouldn't have those years to "baby" her and carry her around and hold her.
Well this precious, independent daughter of ours has spent many hours in my arms and on my hip, she loves to play "baby" and even asks me to feed her sometimes.  She is thankful for everything we give her, she is happy and considerate AND she is active enough to keep up with the big kids without a nap, and can take long hikes and bike rides and stay up late for movie night!
She has won my heart and I am so thankful! And, I know that I am able to love her like this because and through the love of Christ.
And.... wow, that He loves me like this - and so much more!  That He adopted me into his family as a 12 year old with some pretty special needs - I can't imagine my bio information if He were to have been emailed....  She is moody, picky, can be rude, very selfish, from a dysfunctional home, allergies, acne, needs braces... :)
I am so thankful for the beautiful gift of adoption ... of His grace.
"For it is by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not from yourselves. It is a gift of God." Ephesians 2:8

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Homeschooling Three - the Truth!

We have started school and I am thankful to be back into routine.  Lizzie is able to sit for a couple of hours at a time - sometimes we don't sit that long, but glad she can do it.
She is learning the Days of Creation, her numbers, letters and so much more!  She is taking it all in very well, and we are so pleased with her progress.
She will gasp each day as she recognizes a letter she knows or sees something on a walk that we have learned about.  She is so full of excitement!  What a joy she is to us.  She says "God made the sun, the moon and the stars and then adds whatever she is seeing... snails, snakes, rocks, worms!"  She is getting the important stuff!
Our life is full and busy and not always so easy.  Homeschooling three is a challenge, especially keeping her quiet while the big kids work, but we are making progress in that area, too.
Lizzie started dance and Children's Choir last week and moved up in her Sunday School class.  I am so thankful that she can do all of this at our church and we don't have to move her around alot.
She will also start preschool on Thursdays next week.

I mostly keep this blog as a scrapbook to her to record her first year home, so I am careful to be honest, but also not to share the "yuck!"  I have recently felt conviction about FB and blogs only showing the cute, sweet memories with our precious children when there is so much that happens in a day with kids that is not cute or sweet.

Please know that our days are filled with that, too.  There are days when I think - "There are places for these kids to go - why on earth do we have them all at home?"  There are days when I want to go to Starbucks and Target all by myself and come home to a clean house without toys and school books everywhere.  The kids argue and complain - somedays over too much work, somedays because they do not like their hair (not John Reese), somedays over bedtime.  Some days we are just grumpy or rude or selfish - all of us - at different times - which makes for a long day!

But... I am truly blessed with these I have been given and pray that God will use me and guide me and fill in for all the things I miss or mess up!
And... there are sweet, sweet moments each day that I have the privilege of watching because we are all here!

 Morning exercises!
 First day of dance
 First day of school

Monday, June 25, 2012


I finally spoke with the GI doctor last week.  After undergoing more bloodwork and a series of tests to determine some malabsorption issues, we are starting a B12 nose spray once a week as her levels were somewhat low - not alarmingly - he said :).
And, though she is not completely absorbing certain sugars, as long as we are all ok with the digestive issues, it is not causing her any harm!  Again, he was just amazed at how great everything looked.
The biggest thing is that there are fewer worries if she is growing and gaining weight.  She definitely looks bigger and healthier - but there's not a big difference in her height and weight ... yet!  So, we will pray for her to grow and to be a healthy little girl!
She amazes us everyday with her language and also with her absolute wonder.
Yesterday on the way into church she said, "Mommy, pretty."  I said "Thank you!"  She said "No...outside"  I said, "Yes it is a beautiful day.  She said, "Yes, beautiful day!"  Though I thought the compliment was for me - so much better that it was for Him!!

First picture is the day we met her...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Princess

Just wanted to post a few pictures of our little princess!  Lizzie is doing great.  Her English surprises us every day.  She did VBS last week and LOVED every minute of it.  She learned the songs and the motions and requests the CD EVERY time we get in the car!  She ran the 1 mile run at Cotton Row.  And was so proud of her blue ribbon.
She loved the balloons here Memorial Day weekend and cried all the way home the first morning because she wanted "more bloons!"  It was  just a big meltdown - which is never fun for mom and dad, but so different this time around - because she rarely does that - and she needs to be normal.  It really shows she is secure with us - which is a great thing.
We love this precious child more each day and are so privileged to be her parents.  We will dedicate her this Sunday morning - what an honor!
We stay so busy just enjoying being a family of five that I rarely have time to stop and be amazed at all God has done - but there are moments each week where He just stops me - so I can SEE that he is really A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
"Mommy, I love you big, big, big!"
"This is MY sister and My brother!"
"Daddy, you are so cute!" :)
"If God is for us who can be against us ...whatever happens I know I can trust He is in control"
"Mommy, I like this song."
"Jesus is ALIVE" - yes He is!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Medical Update and More

We finally had the Upper GI and Ultrasound at Children's on Wednesday and also had an appointment with the Pediatric GI doctor.  We are praising God as that day is over and the results are really amazing.
Everything looked great on both tests.  She does have some gallstones that we knew about. These are from her early IV feedings and are not causing any pain or problems so they will be left alone for now.

She does have some reflux, BUT... Dr. Mestre's words were "I know she has the diagnosis of Small Bowel, but I don't see that a significant part of her intestine is missing."  This is the unanswered question we have had since we received the referral.  Lizzie was born at 26 weeks and weighed 1 1/2 pounds and basically due to complications with the premature birth, part of her intestine died and had to be removed.  We were not able to find out how much when we received the referral and were hoping that since she had not had any recent hospitalizations and was growing and seemingly healthy, that it would be ok.
We are so relieved and in awe of her medical care in Hungary and God's amazing provisions for our sweet girl!
Because she does still have some tummy issues we will spend three more mornings at Children's doing some tests to see if it is lactose, sucrose or fructose that she may have a hard time digesting.  And... she will have to have a little more blood work.
Lizzie is learning to trust us more and more and while I cannot stand to put her through these appointments and tests, she is recovering well as her bond with us is growing.
It is just very different than with children you have been with since birth.  We are working so diligently to build a bond with her and show her that we will love her and protect her always, yet she has so much fear that we are having to hold her down for these tests while she screams hysterically.
The funny thing is that as soon as it is over, it is over and she will even laugh about it and mock cry when she retells it.
She is doing so much better with me.  She is letting me be "Mommy" and it is so precious.  I love being able to hold her and scratch her back as she falls asleep or wipe her tears and kiss her when she is sad.
We are still continually thankful and amazed at God's plan in bringing her to our family.
She is a perfect fit!
This week she:
*Constantly said she is sad (with a smirk) because Poppy's car is broken!  It is broken and duck-taped, if you haven't seen it!
*Prayed out loud in the car while looking at the night sky "Thank you God for the sun, the moon and the stars"
*Sang "Our God is Greater" at the top of her lungs - in the car, in the potty, in the bath...everywhere!
*Made John Reese and Ellie kiss and say "sorry" when they fussed during school!
*Told Jake to "look in my eyes, Jake" when she was getting on to him for jumping out of her lap
*Ran a mile on the trails while we rode our bikes beside her
*Pretty much mastered writing her name and has written it on her drawings without me telling her!
*Used "Lizzie" more than "Sugi"
*And... answered when I asked her if she wanted to be called Sugi or Lizzie "No... princess!"
And she is our little princess and His - a child of the King!

Love to you all and thank you for caring and praying and rejoicing with us!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt, Easter and our first time to paint!

Lizzie loved hunting eggs, petting the animals at the farm and jumping in the inflatables.
Easter Sunday was precious.  Every time she sees a cross she says "cross - Jesus loves you!"  That is what she said on the video while holding the cross from resurrection eggs.  I have no idea why the video didn't work!
She loved having her picture made on Easter morning.
She loves her new pink scooter!
Today she learned how to paint!

She really loves life!  And we love having her in ours!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Happy Easter - He is Risen

This week has been full of Easter.  We have made bird's nests, a bunny cake, decorated eggs and are waiting for butterflies to hatch from their chrysalis.  We have studied about Peter and read about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.  We have talked about the cross and the blood and the sacrifice
I hope they are getting it -I hope I am getting it!  I want to get it!  I want to do the fun activities because I want them to remember this as a precious time in our life as a family.  If there is no Easter - there is no point in all of this.
He conquered death - He rose again - He is our Savior and Mighty King.
Wonderful, Merciful Savior
Precious redeemer and friend
Who would have thought that a lamb could rescue the souls of men

O, You rescue the souls of men!